Former US Portsmouth loanee Lewis Beale celebrates first Eastleigh senior start with cracking goal in FA Trophy victory
Former US Portsmouth loanee Lewis Beale netted on his first senior start for Eastleigh.
The 21-year-old striker celebrated his appearance against Matlock Town by scoring the second goal in the Spitfires’ 2-1 FA Trophy second round success at The Silverlake Stadium.
The second half was less than a minute old when Beale latched onto a Jack Payne through ball, bringing it under control with a fine header and calmly firing past onrushing keeper Jon Stewart.
That put the hosts 2-0 up, Cav Miley having opened the scoring with virtually the last kick of the first half.
Beale has been out on loan recently to Met Police, and played against Gosport Borough in a pre-Christmas Southern Premier League encounter.
Previously, Portsmouth-born Beale spent two loan spells with US Portsmouth.
He scored 13 goals in 24 league and cup appearances in 2017/18, while he netted a further 16 goals in 21 outings last term.
Beale ended the 2018/19 campaign as USP’s joint leading Wessex Division 1 marksman with 12 goals - the same as Harry Potter.
‘I’ve had excellent reports on Lewis,’ said Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens after his club had reached the last 16 of the FA Trophy for only the third time in their history.
‘I’m keen to use the Trophy to give some of our younger lads game time.
‘He took his goal very well indeed - it was a great touch with his head to bring the ball under control and it was a very composed finish.’
Strevens also handed a maiden first team start to Ben Scorey, who along with Beale, keeper Ross Flitney, Tom Bearwish and Jack McKnight had all played in last month’s 1-0 Hampshire Senior Cup win over Petersfield Town.
Beale could get another run-out against Wessex League opposition on Tuesday when Eastleigh travel to Bashley in the quarter finals of the same competition.
Three of the quarter finals are taking place that night – AFC Stoneham are hosting Sholing and Andover New Street are welcoming Moneyfields on the same evening.
The other last eight tie is not yet known - AFC Totton and Southampton yet to meet for the right to host holders Hawks.